18-24th of April is depression awareness week.
I think just about everyone knows that depression exists except from innocent children.
most people will suffer from depression at one point in their life but when they are experiencing it, it can be one of the most lonely times in the world. those around you who have never experienced a bout of depression can be extremely supportive but they also don’t fully understand sometimes as they cannot see why you would feel this way when, if you are young you have your whole life ahead of you.
I am writing this from the point of view of a young person. when I was diagnosed with depression I found it extremely hard to speak out to people as it just felt as if my concerns were going to be brushed off. people seem to think that if you are aged 14/15 you have no concept of the world and that you can’t possibly be depressed. I was also told in the first instance by my doctor that I was “too smart” to be depressed. which is one of the most stupid things a medical professional could say to you when you feel like your world is crumbling around you.
everyone can experience depression in different ways and I just want to let people know how I felt when I was at my worst point. this may not be the same for everyone, but one thing is for sure that it is the most soul destroying time that I have had in my life.
I was quite young when I first started to feel depression at the age of roughly 14. I didn’t quite know what was happening I just felt as if I was detached from everything. school had never been easy with making friends, so the friends I had made I slowly started to pull away as I thought they wouldn’t understand. my home life wasn’t very positive with violence towards my mum and her drinking problem. it made home a very hard place to be when all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and let it swallow me.
I felt like I was standing on the outside of the whole world, everyone getting on with their lives while it was just me and depression.
I don’t think that I had a very hard childhood. I was never under privileged, if I needed anything then I got it. but I wasn’t spoiled. I always wanted to save for things on my own. I had a hard time deal with my dad leaving when I was younger and witnessing my mum fall apart. I felt so much stress from school to try to do my best. I always felt like I was going to be a failure and I hated myself for it.
on my last year when I was at school I let my depression take over. I had just lost a very close family member and it made it even harder to cope. I had no motivation, I just wanted the world to end. giving that, I did terrible and failed all my exams and when I got my results I cried for hours thinking of how I was going to tell my parents. thinking they were going to throw me out on the streets and I was going to have to try and survive on my own.
this obviously sounds very dramatic but it was how I felt. when I eventually found the courage to show my parents my results they both said they were proud of me for trying.
I would cry myself to sleep every night wishing to wake up a different person. maybe not so much different, just back to the old me. but one thing I have realized now is that you can’t go back to being the person you were. that person no longer exists and you have to build a better person.
I hated myself, on some days I still do. I hurt myself to try and release the pain in my head, which worked for a few hours and I felt like I had to do it again. I wouldn’t be able to sleep for all the thoughts whirling around in my head about how I wasn’t ever going to amount to anything, I wouldn’t ever be good enough. I wanted to die more than anything, just so I would be at peace and away from this suffering. I would lose concentration and there would be some days I would sit and lose hours, and snap out of my trance-like state to realize I’d been staring at a wall for the past two hours.
I am getting better. I have better days, but i also still have bad days. I dream about going to uni and helping people who have been in the same situation as me. but I fear I am going to fail and be stuck in a dead end job that I hate. I have someone who loves me and wants to take care of me but I have the constant fear that I am not good enough and that I will be easily replaceable.
I’m not sure if I will ever be completely better, but I would rather have one down day out of seven than all seven being terrible.